If you measure your breathing. If you walk slowly at an even pace. If you watch the branches to discern the wind’s direction and tilt your face to catch that wind. If you are the kind of quiet that is active and engaged, you will hear it, like the hush of a river or a song from childhood, the answer you’ve been looking for. And, it might not be what you wanted to hear, but, goddess knows, it will be what you needed. We only have this one Earth, most of us remember only one life, and somewhere very near to us, a power we cannot see traces its soft hand over someone’s eyes and closes them forever. If you’re worried that this is the moment I talk about mortality, don’t worry, it’s not. We all know we’re going to die, we spend our lives averting our minds from that knowing. No, not today. Today, I want to talk with you about a visceral kind of aliveness. I want to watch people drag their blankets around a verdant park in accordance with the Sun’s long train of light. When I talk about death, I mean to talk about what we don’t know, which is what we’re here to do and how long we have to do it.
Not everything that we see is true, but what we see is what we know. Believing is what shapes our experience, and our memory of the past. In the sky, planets appear to move backward, but it isn’t real. What creates the appearance of backward motion is the position of the Earth, Sun, and planets in relation to each other. I wish I could explain further, but I’m not an astronomer. Instead, I want to think about what is versus what appears to be, how the illusion of retrograde is the experience of retrograde, how so much of our human suffering comes out of the stories we tell ourselves about others in relation to ourselves. What I mean is, the sun is in Leo and you, dear reader, carry within you an engine that works all day to keep you alive. It’s a bright, beautiful, and tireless. When you grieve, the engine aches because your mind has yoked that engine to its sorrow. The engine aches, but it won’t break. The heart is only interested in pumping, it fills your blood with oxygen like a long unwavering breath and mandates that you go on. It’s just that you believe your sorrow is stored there and, so, it is.
What if, this Mercury Retrograde, you practice restraint? What if, as an experiment, you reign in all the proud horses that Jupiter direct riled up, and shush them into your stable? What if you spend the next few weeks standing to the side of yourself and every time you start to spin a story about fate, betrayal, resentment, why this person said this, or why those two will never work, you tap yourself on your chest right where your heart pumps and say, “That is a story. All I know is right now in this body. The only person’s motives and intentions I know for sure are my own.”
You understand what I’m asking, don’t you? Leo energy isn’t subtle. It’s fixed and proud. Even brazen, when it wants. Leo takes up space whether she means to or not, and she wants the ones she surrounds herself with to match her energy and her ethos. She’s generous because she prioritizes her pride so that they reflect her kindness back to her. She’s got a lot of love to give, but sometimes, Leo gives away so much to one person or another, she forgets her purpose here. Which, by the way, has nothing to do with living her life tending to the needs of others by writing their stories for them.
Leo energy is about reclaiming your time, it’s about learning the kindness of strong boundaries, it’s about knowing who the fuck you are or committing your energy to figuring that out. This Mercury Retrograde, the eclipses might be flooding you with information that you’ve been needing to receive for a long time. Some of this will be painful, but none of it will be a surprise. Let the information stand as a singular notice, a bulletin, a fact of your life. But, whatever you do, don’t let that information consume you. Move slowly, listen to the engine in your chest. What is your purpose here? When the time will come to act, and that time is not yet here, you will know how to do it with grace. Not in reaction to the perceived lives of others but, rather, in accordance with your inner voice. A soft wind, it’s a voice that’s been waiting for you to lean in and listen for a long time.